BC Farm Industry Review Board

The B.C. Farm Industry Review Board (BCFIRB) is an independent administrative tribunal.


Governance is about the structures and processes an organization uses to provide direction, control and accountability in their day-to-day operations. Good governance helps organizations to effectively meet their mandate, goals and objectives.

“Good governance is … essential for ensuring that government is allocating provincial resources wisely and fairly, and that it is serving the public interest in an open and transparent manner...” (Public Sector Governance report, pg. 5)

Accountability Framework

BCFIRB created an accountability framework to help focus its activities. The framework describes the legal authorities, the relevant policies affecting operations, and the internal and external controls in place to ensure effective governance. BCFIRB also supports the eight agricultural commodity boards in B.C. to adopt the accountability framework.

BCFIRB incorporated the accountability framework into its strategic plan, as part of its commitment to lead by example.

Principles-Based Regulation

A principles-based approach to supervision and regulation is intended to set expectations for those directly affected by BCFIRB decisions and those directly affected by the decisions and actions of the agricultural commodity boards as regulators in the agri-food industry. BCFIRB defined six principles that are a lens or filter that help ensure a principled approach by both BCFIRB and the commodity boards to their responsibilities.

These six principles are collectively referred to as "SAFETI" principles.



Identifying key opportunities and systemic challenges, and plan for actions to effectively manage risks and take advantage of future opportunities



Maintaining legitimacy and integrity through understanding and discharging responsibilities and reporting performance.



Ensuring procedural fairness in processes and decision making.



Ensuring clearly defined outcomes with appropriate processes and measures.



Ensuring that processes, practices, procedures, and reporting on how the mandate is exercised are open, accessible and fully informed.



Ensuring that appropriate interests, including the public interest, are considered.

In response to a request from B.C.’s agricultural commodity boards and commissions, BCFIRB developed a guidance document that defines BCFIRB’s SAFETI principles, and provides further details.

Accountability & Reporting

BCFIRB evaluates and publicly reports on its performance in its annual Service Plan Report.

Commodity boards evaluate and publicly report on their performance in their annual reports.


If you have a concern about BCFIRB's practices and/or services, you can file a complaint with the B.C. Ombudsperson. Concerns can include things like lengthy delays, rudeness, negligence, arbitrariness, oppressive behaviour or unlawfulness.

The B.C. Ombudsperson is an independent Officer of the Legislature who upholds the principles of openness, transparency, and accountability. The role of the Ombudsperson is to ensure that every person in B.C. is treated fairly by government bodies.

After investigating a complaint, the Ombudsperson can, when appropriate, recommend changes for resolving an unfair situation. However, the Ombudsperson does not have the authority to order changes to BCFIRB processes, policies or decisions.

As a tribunal, the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board (BCFIRB) adheres to natural justice and administrative law.

  • Natural justice requires procedural fairness for all participants, and fair decision-making by an objective decision maker.
  • Administrative law governs public officials and tribunals who make decisions that affect peoples’ interests.

Where it is suitable, BCFIRB promotes early dispute resolution through mediation, facilitation or other processes. 

BCFIRB decisions are final and conclusive but may be judicially reviewed by, or appealed to, the Supreme Court of British Columbia. BCFIRB processes and procedures can be reviewed by B.C.'s Office of the Ombudsperson, providing an additional layer of accountability.

  • General supervision of agricultural commodity boards
  • Being a signatory to formal federal-provincial cooperation agreements in regulated marketing
  • Hearing appeals of agricultural commodity board decisions
  • Hearing appeals related to certain BCSPCA animal custody decisions
  • Hearing farm practices complaints from persons disturbed by odour, noise, dust or other disturbances arising from agriculture or certain aquaculture operations
  • Conducting farm practices studies
  • Hearing appeals of Minister of Agriculture decisions to refuse, suspend, revoke or not renew agricultural produce grading licenses

Read more about administrative tribunals

BCFIRB has four mandates that are set out in four statutes.

1. Regulated Marketing

Under the Natural Products Marketing (BC) Act (NPMA), BCFIRB is responsible for

  • The general supervision of regulated agricultural commodity boards created under that Act;
  • Hearing appeals filed by any person who is aggrieved by or dissatisfied with orders, decisions or determinations of the commodity boards; and
  • Acting as a signatory to federal-provincial agreements for supply-managed commodities.

Read more about BCFIRB's roles in relation to regulated marketing.

2. BCSPCA Animal Custody Decisions

Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCAA), BCFIRB is responsible for hearing appeals from persons specified in the Act who are dissatisfied with

  • Certain decisions to take custody of an animal;
  • Decisions to affirm notice that animals will be destroyed, sold or otherwise disposed of;
  • The costs for which an owner is liable; and/or
  • The costs that an owner must pay before animals are returned.

Read more about BCFIRB's role in relation to animal custody.

3. Farm Practices

Under the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act (FPPA), BCFIRB

  • Is responsible for hearing complaints from persons aggrieved by odour, noise, dust or other disturbances arising from agriculture or certain aquaculture operations; and
  • May also study and report generally on farm practices.

Read more about BCFIRB's roles in relation to farm practices.

Regulated Marketing

B.C.’s regulated marketing system is a government-legislated system that provides for the orderly production and marketing of certain agricultural commodities.

BCSPCA Animal Custody Decisions

BCFIRB hears appeals about certain animal custody and related cost decisions of the BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BCSPCA) under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCAA).

Farm Practices

BCFIRB, as an administrative tribunal, is responsible for hearing complaints from persons aggrieved by odour, noise, dust or other disturbances arising from agriculture and certain aquaculture operations.